Naomi Osaka said she is “proud” of her decision to pull out of French Open earlier this year.© AFP
Tennis star Naomi Osaka was in tears while addressing a press conference at Cincinnati Masters tournament and the video conference call had to be halted for a while to allow Osaka to compose herself. Osaka was responding to a question asked by one of the journalists when she got emotional. However, after the interruption, the Japanese player returned to respond to the question. The 23-year-old had pulled out of the French Open after having refused to sit for press conferences to protect her mental health. During the press conference at Cincinnati Masters, she said she was “proud” of the stand she took in Paris.
“It was something that needed to be done,” said Osaka.
The four-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of Wimbledon as well after her French Open exit but returned to compete at the Tokyo Olympics where she bowed out in the third round.
“It felt like something I needed to do for myself. I felt like I holed up in my house for a couple of weeks and was a little bit embarrassed to go out. The biggest eye-opener was going to the Olympics and having other athletes come up to me and say they were really glad I did what I did,” Osaka said on pulling out of Roland Garros.
At the French Open, Osaka was fined for not speaking with the media after her first-round match and was told by the organisers she could face expulsion from the tournament for her refusal to take part in media duties.
However, Osaka withdrew from the tournament on the next day saying she needed to protect her mental health.
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